custom bike multi function instrument

Junkyard dog 28 – Really, this is the end. Honest.

OK so the last episode was supposed to have been the last one but some bits worthy of putting finger to keyboard cropped up and I realised I hadn’t talked about the future of the bike and so on.

The seat is now with my neighbour, Alison Tuck, she has just started a business that does bike seats amongst other things so she seemed the obvious choice to do a far better job than I could ever do.

I also encountered a couple of issues with the running of the bike that I thought may prove interesting.

damaged alternator gearThe first problem was to do with a very odd and disturbing noise that I could hear over the open exhaust headers. For anything to be that loud it had to be pretty serious so I shut the bike straight down and had a think about what it could be. It sounded like it was coming from the clutch area, it didn’t sound like the engine was tight, there was oil pressure even at cranking speed so I knew it wasn’t rods or mains. It got worse every time I started it to try and work out where the noise was coming from, it clearly had to be found. Then I had an idea and removed the alternator – the problem was obvious and spotted immediately. The gear on the alternator was quite badly mangled, all the teeth had clearly been damaged – the big question was – why? The engine had been sat in my storeroom for about a year, it had come out of a bike that had been sat unloved for several years. To cut a long story short – it was the wrong alternator, the gear was too small a diameter so once it was loaded up ie generating juice the gears where graunching, hence the noise. As the wear got worse the graunching got worse, if I had left it long enough it would have packed up altogether.

Fortunately I had the correct unit in stock so I swapped it out, altered the wiring to suit and it is now perfect. I am grateful to the guys at Suzuki who fitted a much harder drive gear than driven gear so nothing on the engine got damaged. An engine flush and oil / filter change is however now a pressing requirement as there will obviously be a copious quantity of tiny metal particles in there.

The next issue was one of running – it wouldn’t tick over and rev cleanly, something I had kind of expected as I was running no exhaust and pod type foam air filters rather than the standard Suzuki set up. I dealt with the exhaust first and then ran the engine on it’s standard settings to get a benchmark. As expected it was still very lean across the range so I opened up the carbs to see if the jetting was standard, to my surprise the main jets were smaller than they should have been – size 92 instead of the 100’s fitted as standard – that would make it very lean even on the standard air box.

I have ordered some 110’s (7 sizes up from what is in there) which should be much closer. I have left the idle jets at 35, which is standard but will take the idle screws out an extra turn and tune them from there, should be about right. I may need to lift the needles a very small amount but as I am not tuning it for racing it should be close enough.

Another job I sort of forgot about was the oil pressure warning light – the multi function instrument does not have one so another provision has to be made. I have gone for a 10mm flashing red LED that simply can not be missed or ignored if the worst should happen and oil pressure be lost. A simple bracket holds it so it can be clearly seen from the normal riding position.

A similar minor thing I forgot was the pickup for the speedo – it uses magnets to determine the speed of the wheel, it is programmable but obviously the pick up needs to be close enough to the magnets for it to work. I made a very simple tab like thing that does the job adequately, I need to get some magnets though as I lost the only one that came with it. It’s probably stuck to something but I have no idea what.

So I guess all that is left now is to talk about the future and the next phase of madness. Before I go much further it will go off to Julian for MoT and advise – it’s always a really good idea to get a second pair of eyes looking for anything that may have been missed or could be improved. I value his knowledge and experience so it will be good to see what he says.

There are several things I want to change or redo, I want to get my mate Robert Cooper to do a proper custom paint job for a start. Something like that was never going to fit in the £500 budget but it will make a huge difference to the overall appearance of the bike – it will finish it off.

I have a different front wheel that matches the rear a bit better but it’s a really big job to change it over as I will need to make new spacers and a new caliper mounting bracket. I may just polish the Diversion one that is already on there a bit better.

I want to add some cosmetic embellishments to the footpeg mounts that run across the frame –  purely for the hell of it, it’s just something I have in my head.

I also want to do better exhausts – I may simply make some stainless shields to hide the ugliness of the mild steel pipe and badly pitted Hayabusa y pieces or I may get something made professionally, I haven’t decided yet but something needs to be done.

I will do more articles when the time is right, I hope you have enjoyed following the story and I hope a few of you may be inspired to give it a go yourselves. Thanks for reading it, I’m off now to embark on the next one……

Article provided by David Powell of Boston Bike Bits.

Boston Bike Bits